Making smart food choices isn’t exclusive to the Paleo diet, as most people do want to be healthier. Eating more vegetables is one of the few things everyone agrees on, but with so much conflicting information how can you make smarter Paleo food choices?
The Food Industry and Labeling
It impossible to have a conversation about smart food choices and not discuss labeling. The food industry has a marketing department that is second to none and they have made an art out of convincing you that bad food is good for you. They atttach labels saying “All Natural” and “Low Fat” when the product is anything but.
How do you navigate through the maze of misinformation? You don’t even bother trying. Unpronounceable ingredients, artificial colors and flavors- none of them contribute to your health in any way. There are some sayings that really do hold true, “if you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it” and “if it has a TV commercial you probably shouldn’t eat it”. Avoiding food that is processed is the first step in making better choices.
Cooking is very much becoming a lost art. Our parents and grandparents cooked every meal they ate, meal times were a time family got together and discussed their day. We are busier today than ever and we can buy most of our meals already made for us from the grocery store. We have traded in nutrition for convenience.
Take out and fast food are billion dollar industries, and collectively we made them that way. They have designed food in a laboratory to be addictive and keep you coming back for more. The best way to know exactly what is going into your food is to prepare it yourself. Use fresh wholesome ingredients to get the best quality of nutrition.
What Do I Buy?
Start with fruit and vegetables, as they should be the base of any diet and that includes Paleo. When buying vegetables try and get organic as often as possible to avoid pesticide contamination. Patronize your local farmers markets whenever you can, not only are you helping to keep a local farmer in business your produce travels less helping the environment.
Meat and eggs should come from free range grass fed sources. Again take advantage of local sources where you can find them. If local grass fed meat is not available to you there are places online you can get them. A freezer is also handy to have to get some savings for buying in bulk.
Smart Paleo Food Choices
The Paleo diet does restrict grains and legumes and that means there are probably some dishes that you will miss having. Pasta seems to be one of the ones people miss the most, since it is both made with grain and processed it is a big no-no. If you just have to have your spaghetti you can make an alternative with zucchini or squash. Bread, muffins or any other non Paleo food that you miss can often be made with Paleo friendly ingredients. Making smart food choices can do so much for your health, your local community and the environment.